Stalin and Russia, 1924-41
by Russell Williams
Cheltenham and Gloucester College
Key aspects to consider
- The personality and aims of Stalin.
- Comparison of Stalin and Lenin.
- The struggle with Trotsky.
- Stalin and the Soviet economy.
- The use of Terror.
- The organisation of the USSR.
- Stalin and Hitler.
Working with the information
Make notes on these items
- Explain the following terms:
- How did Stalin deal with the following groups:
- the army;
- ‘old Bolsheviks’?
- Did any group in the USSR seriously threaten
- What different forms of propaganda were used to promote support for Stalin?
- List the aims and achievements of the Five Year Plans.
- What is meant by ‘socialism in one country’?
- List the ways in which Stalin (i) continued and (ii) changed the policies of Lenin. What are your conclusions?
- Make notes on Stalin’s policies to:
- Spanish Civil War;
- League of Nations.
These can be used either as topics for revision or as essay questions
1. How valid is the claim that Stalin’s government benefited most of the population of the USSR?
2. To what extent did Stalin depart from the policies pursued by Lenin?
3. Why did Stalin use Terror as a means of enforcing his policies?
4. ‘He enormously accelerated Russia’s development’. ‘Power of the most crude, clumsy and counter-productive
kind’. Which of these better describes Stalin’s rule over the USSR?
5. Consider the view that Stalin’s mistaken policies exposed the USSR to possible defeat by Germany in 1941.
Supplementary reading further to your primary textbook
In addition to the material which can be found in standard textbooks, the following will be helpful:
M. McCauley, Stalin and Stalinism, Longman, 1995.
C. Ward, Stalin’s Russia, Arnold, 1993.
M. Lynch, Stalin and Khrushchev, the USSR 1924-64, Hodder & Stoughton(Access to History), 1995.
N. Rothnie, Stalin and Russia, Macmillan (Documents and Debates), 1991.
A. Wood, Stalin and Stalinism, Routledge (Lancaster Pamphlets), 1990.